Simulation of mixed-mode fracture using SPH particles with an embedded fracture process zone

Yingnan Wang, Hieu T. Tran, Giang D. Nguyen, Pathegama G. Ranjith, Ha H. Bui

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on the modelling of mixed-mode fracture using the conventional smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method and a mixed-mode cohesive fracture law embedded in the particles. The combination of conventional SPH and a mixed-mode cohesive model allows capturing fracture and separation under various loading conditions efficiently. The key advantage of this framework is its capability to represent complex fracture geometries by a set of cracked SPH particles, each of which can possess its own mixed-mode cohesive fracture with arbitrary orientations. Therefore, this can naturally capture complex fracture patterns without any predefined fracture topologies. Because a characteristic length scale related to the size of the fracture process zone is incorporated in the constitutive formulation, the proposed approach is independent from the spatial discretisation of the computational domain (or mesh independent). Furthermore, the anisotropic fracture responses of materials can be naturally captured thanks to the orientation of the fracture process zone embedded at the particle level. The performance of the proposed approach demonstrates its potentials in modelling mixed-mode fracture of rocks and similar quasi-brittle materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1445
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • cohesive fracture law
  • mixed-mode
  • regularisation
  • rock fracture
  • smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)

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